[R] PowerPoint - eps not suitable

Marc Schwartz (via MN) mschwartz at mn.rr.com
Fri Jun 23 20:43:54 CEST 2006

On Fri, 2006-06-23 at 14:02 -0400, Michael H. Prager wrote:
> Previous posters have argued for EPS files as a desirable transfer 
> format for quality reasons.  This is of course true when the output is 
> through a Postscript device.
> However, the original poster is making presentations with PowerPoint.  
> Those essentially are projected from the screen -- and screens of 
> Windows PCs are NOT Postscript devices.  The version of PowerPoint I 
> have will display a bitmapped, low-resolution preview when EPS is 
> imported, and that is what will be projected.  It is passable, but much 
> better can be done!
> In this application, I have had best results using cut and paste or the 
> Windows metafile format, both of which (as others have said) give 
> scalable vector graphics.  When quirks of Windows metafile arise (as 
> they can do, especially when fonts differ between PCs), I have had good 
> results with PNG for line art and JPG for other art.
> Mike

Just so that it is covered (though this has been noted in other
threads), even in this situation, one can still use EPS files embedded
in PowerPoint (or Impress) presentations.

The scenario is to print out the PowerPoint presentation to a Postscript
file (using a PS printer driver). If you have Ghostscript installed, you
can then use ps2pdf to convert the PS file to a PDF file.

If you have OO.org, there is a Distiller type of printer driver called
PDF Converter (configured via the printer admin program) available,
which you can use to go directly to a PDF in a single step. This also
uses Ghostscript (-sDEVICE=pdfwrite) as an intermediary (though hidden
from the user) step.

The standard OO.org PDF export mechanism (using the toolbar icon) only
exports the bitmapped preview, not the native EPS image. This is what
you see as the preview image in these "Office" type of apps by default.

Most PDF file viewers (Acrobat, xpdf, Evince, etc.) have a full screen
mode, whereby you can the use the viewer to display the presentation in
a landscape orientation to an audience.

I have done this frequently (under Linux with OO.org) to facilitate
presentations, when for any number of reasons, using LaTeX (ie. Beamer)
was not practical.

Even when using Beamer, the net result is still the same: creating a PDF
file via pdflatex, which is then displayed landscape in a PDF rendering
application full screen. 

This was the typical mode of operation at last week's useR! meeting in

All that being said, the ultimate test is in the eye of the user. So
whatever gives you sufficient quality for your application with minimal
hassle is the way to go.


Marc Schwartz

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